The Busy Bibliophile

where I review books, mostly ya and chick-lit

the truth about forever by sarah dessen August 22, 2011

Filed under: 4 stars,easy read,loss,sad,sarah dessen,summer,ya — Andrea @ 12:52 pm

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away. She’s stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she’ll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father’s recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother’s open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic, insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in a whole new way, and really start living it.

 

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I really enjoyed this one. There was no big mystery or great romance, it was just a fun read.

Macy’s father passed away a year and a half ago and ever since then she’s been “fine, just fine,” which is code for just barely making it.  Her sister has married and moved out and her mom is avoiding her own grief by working way too much at her job.  Her boyfriend Jason is an unemotional genius and Macy has nobody to talk to.  Her mom needs her to be perfect and so she is.  She does everything expected of her and little else.  In short, she’s barely living.

When Jason goes away to summer camp for the insufferably smart, she takes over his job at the public library, which will look perfect on her college application. But she’s miserable there, not that anybody cared to ask.

While being a perfect daughter at an event her mother is hosting, she meets the motley crew of the WISH catering company.  During a surprising bout of rebellion, she does something totally out of character and ends up working for WISH.  But maybe she’ll end up learning a lot more than how to make meatballs…

This was an easy read and it sped along at a rapid pace.  Dessen did a great job of conveying Macy’s grief at the loss of her father and her and her mother’s flawed attempts to overcome it.

I loved the characters, especially the WISH staff.  They were people I could be friends with.  I loved how they interacted with each other, just like a second family.  Most of the characters were full, though I felt Jason could have used some more fleshing out (he reminded me of what Sheldon Cooper from Big Bang Theory might have been like as a teenager).  The tension between Macy and her mother was very well-written, you could really feel all of the unsaid things between them.

Every once in a while, there was some standalone phrase that seemed like something you would see on one of those motivational posters, which I thought was kind of hokey:

Eventually, even the smallest fragments can’t help but make a whole.

This is my first Dessen book, so maybe this is a common thing with her, but I didn’t think they added anything.

There was very little romance, but what was there was sweet and fresh.

The dialogue was lively and fun, with great give and take between everyone.  I especially loved how Kristy (one of the WISH crew) said whatever she felt like, no matter what.  It was nice to see people react to that.

The Sum Up:  The Truth About Forever"" is a fun book that drew me in and was entertaining but won’t stay with me for long.

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spill it.

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